Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Lawrence K. Grossman papers, 1931-2018

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#2009
Bib ID 14435210 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Grossman, Lawrence K.
Title Lawrence K. Grossman papers, 1931-2018
Physical Description 60 Linear Feet ( 47 boxes (41 record cartons; 6 flatboxes; 1 mapcase folder))
Language(s) English .

Material is unprocessed. Please contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

This collection is located on-site.



Scope and Contents

Contain first drafts of his writings, correspondence related to his personal and professional life (including exchanges with Tom Wolfe and Edward R. Murrow, among others), as well as posters, original arwork, multiple binders of CBS advertisements, and other visually interesting documentation of his career.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Conditions Governing Access

Material is unprocessed. Please contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

This collection is located on-site.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Lawrence K. Grossman papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
National Broadcasting Company Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Television broadcasting -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Content Description

Lawrence K. Grossman, CC '52, was an innovative television executive and advocate for public broadcasting. He joined the advertising department at CBS in 1956, then moved to NBC in 1962, becoming the network's VP of advertising. PBS hired him as its president in 1976. Grossman transformed PBS over eight years — the network became the first to deliver its programming by satellite; he introduced the programs Live From Lincoln Center and concerts from the White House and the Kennedy Center, and doubled the length of the network's signature news program, The MacNeil/Lehrer Report.

Grossman was hired by NBC in late 1983, and after General Electric's acquisition of RCA, NBC's parent company, in 1986, he fell out of favor with his new bosses. He was dismissed in 1988. After leaving NBC, Grossman taught at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He wrote The Electronic Republic: Reshaping Democracy in the Information Age (1995), about how interactive telecommunications of that era — faxed petitions, email lobbying and 900-number polls — were providing citizens with more direct participation in politics and making them the "new fourth estate." In the late 1990s, he and former PBS chairman Newton Minow launched Digital Promise, a nonprofit that receives federal and private funding to use digital technologies to improve education.